Sweet Potato & Bean Burritos

IMG_0002 (1)Our family has always had a “thing” for burritos. At least once a week they find their way into a meal; fish, beef, chicken, or veg, we love them all. This is our go-to recipe for our vegetarian version. They are full of nutrients and have the “more” quality that we’re always striving for. The recipe for the filling makes a fair amount, but lasts for up to a week in the fridge, and is great alongside rice or scrambled eggs. Continue reading

Fried Rice ~ Basic Recipe

IMG_9565_2For several months one year, we had two young women staying with us through the Canada World Youth Program; one was a Canadian university student from Sherbrooke, Quebec, and the other, an economics student from Jakarta, Indonesia. Language was one of the key components to their stay here, as well as volunteering in the community. While I struggled with Indonesian, finding it difficult to separate the words, as the language is so fluid, I did find my high school French coming back to me so quickly. The three of us would laugh, quite often pointing, or drawing pictures to communicate. But slowly it all started to happen. Often just a quick sentence, but the intent was picked up on.

Besides language, food was a huge part of us getting to know each other and our cultures. Our household became used to the scent of rice in all its cooked forms. During Ramadan, the two of them would get up before dawn, and start cooking the early meal. Usually it was a simple assembly of fried rice. A few pieces of garlic, onions, and hot peppers, fried with leftover rice from the evening meal. Other bits of vegetables or meats would be added, and served with sambal oelek and ketjap bentang. This meal would last them right through until the late meal. Our Quebec guest found it very hard to manage the long days of fasting, but did it to experience her counterpart’s religion. Our tiny, Indonesian friend explained to me, that if you eat less, it is far easier to make it through the day, as she watched with glee as our young Canadian friend wolfed down a bagel with cream cheese following her fried rice.

Frying the rice before cooking it (instead of frying leftover rice) gives it a nuttier flavour. The recipe still uses small amounts of vegetable, meats, and egg to make it a complete meal. Be creative with this, as it is a very simple meal, using what is at hand. It can easily be fully vegetarian, or just use the egg if you like. Continue reading

Fireside Mushroom Soup

IMG_3008When the days are short, and cabin fever is at its peak, a walk in the woods does wonders for the soul.  The brilliant green of the hanging moss, the leaves from last fall finally composting away, and the mosses creeping over stones and fallen logs are great reminders that we live in a rainforest.  Sometimes the sun will cut through a slit in the clouds, highlighting a group of trees, or a small tree growing out of a mother log.  As the trail wanders back to home, one feels renewed and ready for a quiet time by the woodstove, enjoying a bowl of soup.  Continue reading

Polenta & Veggie Slice

IMG_2910A warm breakfast without eggs or gluten is easy to do ahead of time by making this savory polenta slice.  It makes enough for 4 good-sized servings, and has enough of a nutritional punch to keep you going for several hours.  Simply reheat it either by using the microwave or gently frying in a bit of oil or butter.  If you want to add more protein, put some grated cheese on top, and broil it until the cheese is melted.  My favourite add on is to top a slice of polenta with a poached egg.  Either way, it is delicious and nutritious, an easy start to your day.  Continue reading